When Bitcoin was first invented in 2009 as a potential alternative to government-run currency, very few people thought it would last. But it doesn’t show any signs of quitting, and with the prices for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency continuing to increase in value, more and more people are becoming interested in learning how to profit from Bitcoin.
There are a couple of ways you can profit from Bitcoin. You can either trade cryptocurrencies or mine them.
While most people are familiar with the concept of buying, selling, and trading investments and currencies like stocks and foreign exchanges, they may not be aware that one can actually create one's own Bitcoin.
It is important to remember that anytime you’re dealing with speculation in the financial markets—traditional or crypto—it’s risky. You need to be well informed and aware of the risk. This is true whether you are trading or mining Bitcoin.
Today, we're going to go into Bitcoin mining software, how it works, and what types of software are on the market.
- You need Bitcoin wallet software, where you can keep the Bitcoin you mine and access it later to sell or spend.
- You also need access to a Bitcoin trading platform, which allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin.
- Before buying mining software, do your research so you know what kind of rig you want (the physical hardware) and can make the right choice in mining software.
Bitcoin Mining Has Two Basic Parts—Mining Hardware and Mining Software
Bitcoin mining software is what you use to communicate between the hardware that you use and the Bitcoin blockchain. The software will also communicate with a Bitcoin mining pool (similar to a Bitcoin mining co-op) if you’re part of one.
1. You Need Bitcoin Wallet Software
This is where you keep the Bitcoin you mine for security and so you can easily sell them for legal tender or use them where Bitcoin is accepted.
There are two types of wallets—ones that are hosted and ones where you hold the private keys to your own wallet. We recommend the second type.
BitPay, Armory, and Breadwallet are all easy-to-use Bitcoin wallets. Before you start mining, you’ll need one of these.
2. You Need to be a Part of a Bitcoin Trading Platform
Bitcoin platforms or exchanges like LocalBitcoins and Kraken allow you to buy, sell, and trade your Bitcoin. These work in combination with the wallets so you can get cash value out of your mining activities.
Now that you have these two things, Bitcoin mining software will be useful to you.
Before you buy mining software, make sure to do your research so you know what kind of rig you want (the physical hardware) and can make the right choice in mining software.
Options for Bitcoin Mining Software
This software runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and is probably the most commonly used software for Bitcoin miners right now. The software includes things like remote interface capabilities, multi-GPU support, self-detection of new blocks, fan speed control, and CPU mining support.
This Bitcoin software is based on an open source platform. It comes with a USB interface and supported FPGA boards and ASIC chips that can be used for programming and communication. It has several important features, including the ability to choose the frequency that has the highest rate of valid hashes, and because it is open-source, it doesn’t require a license and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
This software runs on Windows, Android, and Ubuntu (Linux) systems. It has a graphical user interface that works with the CGminer software. Many people like the software because it creates easy visualization with graphs of your Bitcoin mining adventures.
This is another visual interface, but this time for BFGMiner. The layout of this interface is very intuitive, and it works well for people who are new to Bitcoin mining because it has an easy-to-understand control panel.
This software runs on Windows and Linux and is great for people who want to scale up their operation. Awesome Miner can manage up to 200,000 individual ASIC machines and 25,000 GPU/CPU miners at once.
Getting Started With Bitcoin Mining
The Bitcoin mining software you choose is a fairly personal decision. A lot of it depends on the operating system you prefer to use as well as whether you really want a graphical user interface.
Bitcoin mining can still be quite profitable, but like most things, it takes time, resources, and a very specific skill set to learn.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much money can you make mining Bitcoin?
How much money you make mining Bitcoin depends on your computing power. Miners are competing to complete blocks, so the more power you have, the more likely you are to successfully mine the block. Each block you successfully mine is worth 6.25 bitcoin.
How do you join a Bitcoin mining pool?
One of the easiest ways to gain exposure to Bitcoin mining is through Bitcoin miner stocks. These companies mine Bitcoin and publicly sell shares of ownership in the operations. There are also Bitcoin mining pools that involve lending your computing power to a larger Bitcoin mining effort. The process of joining these pools depends on the pool in question, but you'll need to research the group to ensure that it's a reputable and legitimate organization.